You found my comments "informative" but suspect that I'm lying (about being an Admin. Law Judge) and that I am pretentious in the use of my verbs? These were things you said in your flamebait post. You said quite a few other things, almost all of them grossly insulting, superior, smug, and wrong.
Let me clarify a couple of things. First of all, I don't appreciate having you refer to something I took the time to write as "dreck." For those of you, and I know there aren't many, who don't know what "dreck" means, it is a Yiddish word meaning "shit" -- thus, KOTHP found it appropriate to designate my comment as "shit, shit, and more shit" something I would think would qualify as flaming, at the very least.
** Before I go further, I noticed that the abbreviation for Admin. Law Judge looks odd in this font. When you see ALJ, even if doesn't look like the letters A L and J, please note that it is. Sorry. Back to the post. :)
KOTHP said this: "One of the first things learned in a freshman-level undergraduate 'Intro to Law' class is that juries determine the facts. Judges interpret and apply the law."
Well, sorry to burst your pretentious-as-hell bubble, but I never took a "freshman intro to law class." I did, however, attend Albany Law School, a fully accredited and while not Ivy League, one of the better and higher ranked schools, loosely affiliated with Union University.
I graduated in 1992 and passed the NYS bar. Did Law Guardian work, did assigned counsel work, and eventually went into practice doing primarily Workers' Comp. for a local firm in Albany where they paid slave wages for 60-70+ hour weeks. Saturdays were required, Sundays optional. Don't believe it? Too bad, that's how it is for first and second year associates. Long hours, low pay, and since there is a law school in Albany, there are always fresh grads to feed the mill, and so talent came cheap. And it's the state capital. That, and the law school meant lots and lots of lawyers, and a premium on getting with a good firm. So much for that.
As far as Juries interpreting the facts, if you want to get technical, that's not always true either. You insulted and insulted and got zip right. Juries do NOT always interpret the facts, notwithstanding your statement that one learns "in a freshman-level undergraduate 'Intro to Law' class [is] that juries determine the facts.." The truth is that in particularly complicated cases, usually monster cases, big, complex IRS cases (or RICO cases) where there are factual questions, but they are so bound up with the law that it would be impossible to explain the case to a panel (to a jury) often times the Judge IS the finder of fact AND the finder of law.
There are other types of cases in which this is the case, but I'm not being paid to educate you, KOTHP, and so I will leave it to your Undergrad first year into to law class to go into the details of which cases are and which cases are not, heard by a jury as the finder of fact, and what the exceptions are. Of course, an intro class is going to paint in broad strokes, and those broad strokes do not have room for all the complexity that is the law. Mistaking an intro class for a "this is how things are done" definitive explanation is mistake you have apparently made. If it were as simple as an intro to law class, there would be no need for law school to FOLLOW four years of undergrad. Give that some thought. Like attorneys or not, what is taught is complex and not subject to distillation to be served up in a basic intro class which is meant only to whet the appetite.
I don't know what you do and do not know. I do know that you think you know a great deal and have no problem insulting others without bothering to check your facts. An attorney, even an obnoxious attorney, would always check his facts. Nonetheless, YOU suggest that I "may have" picked up a legal brief. I'm furious, shaking with anger -- but you're right. I have picked up legal briefs. Hundreds of them, perhaps thousands as I've written hundreds of them myself. At this point in my career I still craft the argument and do most of the writing because I like to and I'm good at it, but thank god, I don't have to do the footnotes, and can now delegate those to associates and interns. They learn, and they get a credit on the brief and something for their resume which helps them get a job later. That, and I'm much nicer to them than the senior people were to me when I was the intern and associate. I don't expect or want anyone to be in the office on the weekend. Blasphemy in some firms.
You complain about my use of capitalization? That's incredibly lame. If you want to debate me, debate me on the merits of what I have to say, not on my use of the shift key.
As for the practice of law, or "practising" law, you've gotten that one wrong also. Here's what you said:
...'practised' is an archaic adjective synonymous with 'skilled'. I suspect it was a misspelling here, but if you were just being pretentious, note that it is incorrect to use 'practised' as a verb.
Here's the truth: According to any decent dictionary (and I'm using the Webster's New World Dictionary, my desk-side companion) the word "practised" IS a verb, and with the 's' is chiefly the British spelling. Page 1118 of the Second Edition, copyright 1986, 19th printing.
Now, don't you feel pretentious and silly for having attacked before you even bothered to ascertain whether your facts were accurate? Must be the effect of that "Intro to Law" Undergrad class you were referring to, although you never did say whether you actually got into the class, or merely picked up someone else's book (as I apparently picked up a brief, hmmm?) and found some words there and thought you could use them. Tsk, tsk.
Given the fact that I've grown up abroad, lived in Europe and the Middle East for over 12 years, it is NOT surprising that I would, in fact, use the British spelling of the VERB practice and spell it "practised" or "practising" -- not archaic, but British. Unless you consider all things British and all things European to be archaic (which seems to be your suggestion) you might want to issue an apology. Then again, you owe apologies for a number of your statements.
Now Enough Of That--I Must Go Practise My Capitalization Lest My Legal Briefs Appear As Though Written By An Unpractised Attorney. (rofl) With apologies to e e cummings, perhaps I should have typed the prior sentence entirely without caps and without punctuation. As cummings died in 1962, I don't know whether you wrote a letter to him telling him how pretentious and awful his work was, and that it was "dreck".. if you didn't there is always his estate to insult, after all, faulty use of the shift key is a clear indication of fraud, lies, pretentiousness, and general lack of ability. In other words, "dreck," as you so fondly designate it.
And yet another of your faulty comments:
You said that "Most states refer to their high courts as 'Superior Court'...'Supreme Court' almost always refers to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Bzzzzzt, buzzer sounds, wrong again. MANY states refer to their TRIAL level court as their Supreme court (oops, no cap) which, as I indicated, is odd. In NYS, for example, the highest court in the state is called Court of Appeals. The mid-level Appellate court is called the Appellate Division, and depending on where you are in the state, you might be in the A.D. 1st Dept., Second, Third, or Fourth Department of the Appellate Division. Opinions, those written things that fill the Reporters (remember, the books containing all the opinions from all the courts in all the jurisdictions plus all the federal courts) are issued by the Appeals court, which CAN be the Appellate Division, which as stated, is the mid-level court in NYS, and of course, by the highest court, the Court of Appeals.
Sometimes, in a particularly complicated case, you'll get an opinion from the lower court, the TRIAL court -- known in NYS as the Supreme Court, although it might be known as the Superior Court or Trial Court or any number of designations from state to state. THERE IS NO ONE RULE FROM STATE TO STATE.
The states have different designations for their trial level courts and for their Appellate level courts. And some states DON'T HAVE an intermediate Appellate level court. They go straight from the trial court to the state's highest court, which might be called The Court of Appeals (it is in NYS) or The Supreme Court (which may be the case, but some states prefer to avoid the use of Supreme for their highest in deference to the US Supreme Court) or whatever that state chooses to designate their high court.
The point of this is that THERE ARE NO RULES. Some states have three levels of courts.. trial, appellate, and highest state court. Some have only two. Some call it this, some call it that. The only people who really know any given state's terminology are those who practise law there. Yes, practise. So please don't tell us what the names of the courts are, since you obviously don't have any idea. That has not, unfortunately, prevented you from insulting and insinuating that I am liar and a cheat because I do know. Sorry that some knowledge is so threatening to you that you have to attack it -- and with such a fearsome weapon as your "gut feeling." Is is reassuring that your "gut" (ugh) makes such important determinations for you, telling you who to attack, who must be lying, who deserves to be flamed. The amazing precognitive gut.
You apparently took what you believed to be the case in your state and extrapolated it to all other jurisdictions. A common error in, well, first year intro to law students, or other folks who have read some sort of "Law Made E-Z" book. A little bit of information can be a dangerous thing if it persuades the holder of said information that they now know it all, as seems to be the case for you, unfortunately.
Finally, your last attack. Not enough to call my post "shit, shit, and more shit" and not enough to cast aspersions on everything I said, not enough to be smug and insulting and oh-so-offensively pompous and pretentious, you then have the gall to suggest that the level of MY information is that of an undergrad intro to law class, and then you, amazingly, were able to justify calling someone you don't know and haven't a clue about, a flat-out LIAR. You called ME a liar. YOU, the person who doesn't check his facts, who hasn't a clue, who posts flamebait, YOU called ME a liar?!
And after sharing your "gut feeling" that I was a liar, and had gotten my legal knowledge from "picking up a brief" (I guess I must be a para-legal, stealing my employer's briefs so I can read that incredibly (yawn) engrossing material into the night, the better to be able to do what?) You then share your astonishing English grammar/spelling knowledge and inform all of us that I either mispelled the word practised (used as a verb) or was being pretentious, without so much as CHECKING a dictionary to make sure that you were right.
Isn't this rich? YOU end up being wrong about pretty much everything you said. YOU are wrong about the designations of state courts. YOU are wrong about the use of the word "practise" as a VERB, and YOU are wrong about how many briefs I've touched or written, and for good measure, way back in the days of my "Legal Writing and Research" class, when we were being taught HOW to write briefs and do legal research.. I got an A on my first "real" brief, and it felt so good that I've tried to maintain that standard, to always check my facts, something that is apparently not in your arsenal. You might try it. Checking facts before attacking is a sure-fire way of not ending up looking the fool.
Sorry this is so long.. Then YOU with your obnoxious, smug condescension dare to tell us all that your "gut feeling" is that I didn't go to law school and wasn't an administrative law judge. Thank you for sharing your insights. Insights that are lacking the smallest vestige of insight, or even of sense in most cases.
And to clarify, for those who aren't familiar with what an admin. law judge (ALJ) does, it's fairly simple. Any court proceeding that isn't criminal or civil is going to be administrative. ALJs make the determinations in everything from Unemployment insurance to Workers' Compensation, to Public Assistance (Welfare) to Food Stamps to SSD/SSI (SSD/SSI are federal programs, so the ALJs there will be Federal employees, not state. I was a state ALJ, less pay, and much less "glory") to Medicaid (not Medicare) to ANYTHING the government has anything to do with. Anything at all that the government gives or takes, be it a license or entitlement program, whatever it is, an ALJ will hear that case.
If you receive food stamps and don't agree with the amount you are getting and think you are due more, or if you are discontinued, you get to ask for what is called in NYS a "Fair Hearing" (it always sounded redundant to me, since shouldn't the hearing be fair by definition? But there you go, that's what it's called) where an ALJ will hear the case and issue a decision based upon the regulations and precedent.
ALJs also sometimes sit in Family Court.. in that case they are typically called "Referees" and are empowered to handle the less complex matters, whereas an elected (or appointed, depends) Family Court Judge will handle the more complex matters. But almost always, an ALJ handles entitlement programs of all stripes including things like liquor licenses, medical licenses (getting them, losing them) licences of all sorts.. anything and everything that the government gives or takes away is administrative, be it money (the entitlement programs) or other sorts of things -- the licenses ranging from medical to motor vehicle. And USUALLY an ALJ will work for one to three state Agencies, hearing a specific kind of case.
Not that it is your concern, but since your "gut" tells you I am a liar, I'll tell you what I did. I heard entitlement type cases, and so was involved with the Department of Labor, the Department of Health, and the Department of Social Services (Public Assistance (PA), Food Stamps (FS), which draws in the Dept. of Labor due to the "Welfare to Work" rules, having to comply with work requirements in order to receive one's "stipend" (they used to train, which was better, but they don't anymore. Not good, since training gets folks off PA, rather than perpetuating the cycle and many folks on PA are simply single parent households who have lost the other spouse due to anything from disability to death to divorce. The stereo-type of the PA recipient is without much justification at all) and health is brought in because PA involves the Dept. of Health, since part of PA is Medicaid (MA).. And so, I handled PA, FS, and MA primarily. I wanted to do Workers' Comp since I had practiced that area of the law for several years and knew it and the ALJs in that jurisdiction quite well, but when the Civil Service exam for WC ALJs came up, I hadn't yet had enough years in practice as an ALJ (WC is considered "above" PA/FS/MA even though both are ALJs -- WC ALJs are grade 27s to start, while we were 25s to start. Enough detailed info for you?
So much for your "gut" feeling, schmuck. (See, I can use Yiddish too. One needn't be overly clever to use the term dreck, or schmuck for that matter, but as you see I have allowed myself to descend to your level. Ugh, I'm sorry that I did (to anyone reading this with the exception of the schmuck who wrote the post I'm replying to) but god, how INCREDIBLY infuriating it is to read that one is a liar, can't spell, and got one's knowledge from a brief or an UNDERGRAD! intro to law class, particularly when one has taught, and now again TEACHES the self-same course at University. Incredible. Utterly infuriating.
It just comes down to this.. you would have thought he would have checked his facts FIRST before posting a bunch of rubbish and telling the world what is and what isn't proper use of the language. Arrrgh. Yes, I am angry, and I want not one, but several apologies. A nice post from the dreck known at KOTHP stating how sorry he is, and how foolish he feels, with some excuse, some reason for his incredibly obnoxious post.
I realized on re-reading that I didn't give the explanation for RICO. I know most of you know, since this is a primarily educated audience, what RICO means, but for KOTHP, it is the "Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act" (RICO). Like some of the complex IRS cases, RICO cases are often heard WITHOUT a jury, EVEN THOUGH there ARE questions of fact, simply because of the complex nature of the cases, so much detail, and they'd go on so long, that often, a determination is made to waive the jury trial.
Whether both sides have to agree to this, and FYI, ANY TIME the defendant agrees to waive his right to a jury trial, there IS NO jury trial. A jury trial is a RIGHT, not an obligation, thus there are many, many, many cases that could have juries but do not because the defendant, or more correctly, his attorney, understands that fairness is more likely to come from a judge who is trained (if he or she is a good judge) to control emotions and judge only on the facts and not on appearance or reputation, something a jury would have more difficulty doing.
Nothing says "no nookie" like a home on wheels!
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